Thief, the first solo venture from John McNulty (Katana Kitten and Cocktail Kingdom) is taking New Yorkers back in time. At the new bar at 595 Union Ave, everything is inspired by 1980’s NYC’s graffiti, art and music scene. 

“It’s my modern take on a neighborhood bar, and I can’t wait to bring it to the city at this moment of resilience,” says McNulty. “I dig the low key, casual vibe of a dive bar more than anything else but also appreciate a killer glass of wine. I hope a visit to Thief will help our visitors steal back some of the time they lost to the pandemic.”

Thief’s interior (Daniel Schwartz)

Thief’s killer wine menu focuses on small producers that McNulty discovered throughout his 25+ years in the restaurant industry. There are pours below $10 on a list that includes pinks and oranges and an array of reds and whites.

On hot days opt for a Friesling, a frosty glass of frozen riesling aka 2021’s drink of the summer. There will be a second, rotating frozen beverage on offer alongside a simple list of five or six cocktails created by Head Bartender Victor Everitt. The Summer Nights offers a twist on the classic Old Fashioned by mixing reposado tequila with oranges bitters and peaches, while the Supersonic amps up a gin and tonic with celery shrub and a cucumber ice cube.

On the same block as Lilia and within walking distance to several more popular restaurants, Thief is designed with the idea of guests stopping by while waiting for a dinner table, or getting an after dinner drink. A selection of aperitif and after dinner drinks await visitors looking for an unpretentious vibe. Beers like Miller Lite and Estrella Jalisco will flow alongside some select craft specialties from Other Half, Stillwater Artisanal and many more.

An all day menu of casual snacks and light bites will accompany the booze. Think crudites, bavarian pretzels with beer cheese and warm sandwiches like smoked ham and gruyere.

A spread of food at Thief (Ashley Sears)

Thief also offers a large takeout window, allowing passerbys a taste of the fun with a custom menu that can be enjoyed on-the-go.

Occasional live music will also capture the creative energy that coursed through New York City in the early ‘80s. The double entendre hidden in the bar’s name hints at the spirit Thief hopes to add to the neighborhood: a thief is a tool used by producers of all things beverage (wine, beer, spirits) used when sampling from their barrels. The classic meaning of the word is intended to inspire guests to purloin some precious moments for themselves.

Thief is open daily. Monday through Wednesday from 3pm – 2am, Thursday and Friday from 3pm to 3am, Saturday from 11am – 3am, and Sunday from 11am – 2am; located at 595 Union Ave (on the corner of N 11th).

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